It's the most wonderful time of the year.
At the start of every season, the Silver Seven staff make some predictions, and every year, Ryan Classic is wrong. Them, at the start of the next season, we look at what we said the previous year and tally up the answers, arbitrarily assigning points to them in a blatant attempt to assert dominance within the group: Winning a prediction panel is widely considered the greatest achievement currently possible for a human. So, who came out on top this year?
Who will have more points this season: Guillaume Latendresse or Jakob Silfverberg? (Bonus: How many points for each?)
In reality: Latendresse had 10 points, while Silfverberg had 19.
Going with Jacke here. Also learn Jacke. That's the Swedish nickname for Jakob. Final score - Silfverberg 34, Latendresse 24.
Adnan was correct, but vastly overestimated how many points both would score.
Silfverberg is the sexy pick here, but I'm going with Latendresse. I can't help but remember Paul MacLean's insistence on playing guys like Chris Neil and Nick Foligno right in front of the net on the power play. Why would he not play Latendresse in that same role this year, especially since he's demonstrated an ability to score from there? I think Latendresse outproduces Silfverberg on the power play, and that makes the difference. 28 points for Latendresse, and 25 for Silfverberg.
Mark was slightly more conservative, and also slightly more wrong.
Silfverberg will have 18 points, and Latendresse will have 9. 6 of Latendresse's points will be goals, but only 3 of Silf's.
Varada came so close! The extra .5 points give him 2 points on this question.
Since I'd previously predicted 42P for Silfverberg, I'll stick with that prediction despite how ridiculous it seems upon closer inspection. For Latendresse, I'll predict a 21-point season.
Peter's predictions were ridiculous upon initial inspection as well.
Ooh Ah has been awesome for the last two months or so in Binghamton and will keep rolling through the regular season. I bet Latendresse gives decent top-six output, say about 24 in 40GP. Silfverberg plays in all 48 and #33 gets 33 points, cause why not?
Bobby was also a member of the overestimation club.
Got to go Silfverberg, and I'm putting him at 35P. He'll be good, but not great. Yet. Addendum: 18 points for Guillaume. Forgot to add the second bonus, because that's how forgettable he is.
As was Ryan.
Silfverberg will have 33 points, Latendresse will have 24. Silf's in game shape and going to get top line minutes, it'll show on the stat line.
Amelia's reasoning was sound, but her point totals were not.
Silfverberg. He'll have 26 points. Latendresse will have 23.
Even the normally conservative Darren overshot this mark.
Silfverberg. Two reasons: he's more talented and he'll get better ice time and linemates. I think Guillaume has the chance to be a solid x-factor for the Sens, but his footspeed will limit him. 26 points for Silfver, 21 points for Guillaume.
Not quite, Dave, not quite.
Will we see a goalie traded before the deadline? (Cop out penalty/bonus: If you say Bishop will be traded, you must also name a destination.)
In reality: Bishop was traded to the Tampa Bay Lightning for Cory Conacher and a 4th round pick.
No goaltender will be traded before this year's deadline.
Adnan chose to be contrary, and got no points for it. Let that be a lesson to all you cynics.
I think so. Murray twice showed a willingness to address a need via trade last year, and I think there will be a need exposed on defense this year. Ben Bishop will be traded to the Minnesota Wild, whose cap situation puts them in the market for a more reasonably-priced goalie staring next year. Bishop meets that need, and Minnesota has some intriguing prospects to ask for in return.
Like everyone else, Mark correctly picked Bishop, but did not get the destination correct. A copout penalty of .5 points is enforced, giving him only .5 points for this question.
I'm genuinely shocked to see so many people predicting that Anderson will be traded. Not because he's so vital to the team, but because I don't know many teams that would take on two more years of an escalating salary in declining years for a goalie who's never been to the second round of the playoffs. I like Andy, but that contract isn't too attractive.
As for Bishop, he's such a great prospect. I don't think he gets traded unless it's in a package for a good player, as happened with Rundblad. And that will depend on whether Ottawa is in a playoff position, the injuries they encounter, and who drops out of contention early. Impossible to call.
Varada cops out completely, and is penalized one point for this bullcrap.
Yes, I think we'll see Ben Bishop traded before the deadline. I'll state three teams I think could be possible destinations, from most likely to least likely: The Philadelphia Flyers
, thePhoenix Coyotes
, and the San Jose Sharks
Peter correctly chooses Bishop, but impossibly whiffs on three posssible destinations, giving him a grand total of -.5 for being right!
Yup. One or both of Martin Brodeur
and Johan Hedberg
yank their groin and Ottawa gets back more than they paid for Bishop, in a deal that does not involve Bobby Butler
coming back to the Sens. Good thing I never caved into the "Bobby" connection to buy that jersey.
Bobby gets a half point for being right about Bishop but wrong about New Jersey.
No we won't, for one simple reason: the only option left in Binghamton is Nathan Lawson
, and Tim Murray isn't that cruel.
Turns out Tim Murray is that cruel.
Yes, we will see a goalie traded before the deadline. If Ben Bishop has not signed a new contract by then, he'll be dealt to Tampa.
And so it came to pass that Ameila could predict the future.
Yes, we will see Ben Bishop go elsewhere. If I had to guess, I'd say he will be traded to Edmonton.
It was obvious this was a guess, because it was wrong. Even though logically it made a lot of sense.
Well, we should, its just good asset management. The easy answer is Ben Bishop, maybe to Edmonton. If the Sens can really get a big name, young-ish player, maybe we see Lehner moved, but Bishop is the easy answer here.
Dave just copied Darren's paper, and gets the same amount of points.
Which AHL defenseman will play the most games with the big club this season, and why?
In reality: Patrick Wiercioch played 42 games, Andre Benoit played 33, as did Eric Gryba, while Mark Borowiecki managed only 6.
Going with Patrick Wiercioch because currently the power play units have Karlsson, Gonchar and err...so there is that. That and I just prefer Wiercioch kind of players instead of the Borowiecki kind. Paul MacLean's system will favour him.
It's got to be Andre Benoit, right? It should be Benoit. He is the best defenseman on Binghamton and he has the most experience of the options. But my gut says Patrick Wiercioch, and so that's who I'm picking. I think Wiercioch's offseason training regime benefited him too much to ignore. At this point, I think he's at least equal to Kuba in what he could bring to the Senators, and he's shown really good vision on a consistent basis with the B-Sens. Just like with Kaspars Daugavins last year, Paul MacLean is going to find a way to use Wiercioch's size and skills that makes him too valuable to send back down.
Whoa, I made myself nervous for a second there.
Benoit, because he's boring (read: reliable) as hell.
Assuming Mark Borowiecki qualifies as an AHL defenceman, he's the name I'll put out there. I think the Senators penciled him into the 6-7 spot on the roster, anyway, mostly because of his physical abilities and his 'fit' in MacLean's system. Borowiecki seemed like a sensible replacement for some of the toughness lost with Matt Carkner's exit, but the injury to Jared Cowen makes it even more likely that he will be the chosen one to fill out the blue line.
Peter was so, so wrong.
Andre Benoit. Ottawa needs help on the second PP and Borowiecki ain't gonna be giving it. Of course, if Ottawa makes a move for a veteran who can do that job, my vote shifts to BoroCop. I'd like to see Wiercioch really take the reins as number one in Bingo, while Benoit gets a shot at the bigs. Of course, I realize this is a prediction panel and not a "What Bobby Wants" column. Although we should really do one of those someday.
How about a "Ways Bobby is wrong" column? It would be too long to read!
Mark Borowiecki, because he brings that Matt Carkner angle and Andre Benoit would better serve the Senators by tending to the kids in the minors.
Boro will play the most because he adds the most physical play on the blue line. Wiercioch and Benoit will see plenty of time though and all will look comfortable in their NHL trials.
Amelia loves goons!
Andre Benoit, strictly because the Senators will need some additional experience on the back-end with the losses of Cowen and Lundin.
Once again, Darren reaches a logical conclusion, and once again, he's wrong.
Patrick Wiercioch. I've been waiting for a few years to come on, and I think training hard with his old friend Kyle Turris this summer paid off for him big time. He's a big body, good skater and can play the power play. He's got the most upside and I think you give him an extended look if you can.
Dave really nailed this. This is totally what happened.
So, Is this Daniel Alfredsson's last year? (Cop out penalty/bonus: If you say yes, you must also name all the team captain and alternates for next year.)
In reality, Alfredsson did not retire, but chose to play for the Detroit Red Wings this year, necessitating the naming of a new captain staff or whatever. Note that this was not even considered a possibility at the start of last season. Then cry.
Yes Alfie will retire. Jason Spezza will be the captain. Chris Phillips and Erik Karlsson will be the alternates.
Copout math time: 1 point for getting the new captain correct, 1 point for getting Phillips correct, -.5 for getting Karlsson incorrect. That's a lot of work for 1.5 points.
I was convinced Alfie would retire after last year. I thought his concussion in the playoffs really dissuaded him. I think this short season is going to keep him fresh and invigorated, but it's going to become more and more obvious that he's slowing down, so this it. Jason Spezza takes the reins, and Chris Phillips and Chris Neil take on the A's. Karlsson has to wait.
Mark pulls down a whopping 3 points in bonuses, despite getting no points for the main question!
I hope not, but probably. I honestly think Alfie has another year in him. I've been in the minority who think he should get a chance at a cup with a contender and should be traded, but he'll stick around, retire, and Spezza, Phillips and Karlsson will take over, though I think it's a toss up between Spezza and Karlsson for captain. Dark horse candidate: Silfverberg kills a guy to demonstrate his dedication to the team, is named captain, becomes our own personal Gabriel Landeskog.
Varada almost called the move to a different team but didn't have the guts for it. Spezza and Phillips are correct, Karlsson is not. 1.5 points.
Peter only bags one point for his faith.
I'm going to say yes. If I'm wrong on this, Alfredsson's coming back and I won't care if I got this prediction wrong. This will be Spezza's team in 2013/2014 and I don't really get how people still argue over whether he deserves it. Phillips will keep his A, Karlsson will have earned one.
Everyone knows this score by now. 1.5 for Bobby.
It's Alfredsson's last year, and that really hurts to admit for me. Next year's captain will be Spezza, and the alternates will be Philips and Karlsson.
And 1.5 for Ryan.
Daniel Alfredsson will play for the last time this season. Jason Spezza will be named captain in early in the off season, Phillips will retain his A for one more year, Erik Karlsson will add one.
And 1.5 for Amelia.
Yes. Captain next year will be Spezza, and the assistants will be Phillips and Neil.
Darren also lands 3 points with this question.
I want so so so so so badly to say no. But facts are facts and I have to say yes. It was too close a call this summer. Captain: Jason Spezza Alternates: Chris Phillips and Erik Karlsson.
Love for Erik Karlsson gets Dave 1.5 points.
Silver Seven staff, where will the Senators finish the regular season in the standings?
In reality: The Senators finished 7th in the East, earning a playoff match up against the 2nd place Montreal Canadiens.
I think we will likely be ahead of Toronto, Montréal, the Islanders, Winnipeg, New Jersey, Florida and Buffalo. Between Carolina, Tampa Bay we might finish ahead of one of them. I am going to go with seventh. The loss of Cowen hurts, but with the addition of Silfverberg and another year of experience for the younger players, I expect the team to do well enough for a playoff spot.
Adnan nails it for 1 point.
The team lost Cowen, and they're going to eat a lot of shots because of it, but I also think there's a lot of things in their favor that can all be summed up in one word: Continuity. The Senators were fortunate to have many players overseas playing games. Sergei Gonchar, for instance, has already played in 37. And the return of head coach Paul MacLean and staff can't be understated. The team struggled badly in the early parts of last season as they adapted to the new coach. That roadblock is gone now. I think we'll see the Senators leap out to a fast start and then hang on to reach the playoffs as the eighth seed for another year.
Close, but not enough for more than half a point.
I'm going with 11th in the conference. There are a lot of divisional games this season, and I think Montreal has a bounce back year with Markov healthy, Toronto trades for a goalie (maybe not Luongo) and isn't awful, Buffalo bounces back, and Boston is predictably awesome. Ottawa ends up tough in this division.
Once again, cynicism earns you no points.
I'm going to go ahead and predict a seventh-place finish and a first-round matchup against the dreaded Boston Bruins.
Good call, Vowels.
The realist in me is figuring ninth, the homer is pushing for sixth. Fortunately, I'm about 75/25 Homer/Realist and so Ottawa will finish seventh and the season goes until Game Six of the Eastern Conference Semi-Finals. Man, do I hate the Penguins, who will beat the Sens.
Good call, Bobster.
8th in the east.
Ryan comes close.
The Sens will finish 7th in the East; they'll be in the playoff hunt all year, so there won't be any needless discussion of "should Alfie move to a contender?"
Amelia is right again on all counts. Disgusting.
Senators will finish the regular season 9th in the standings. I just don't think the defense is good enough, unfortunately.
Cynicism. Gets. You. No. Points.
I'll say 8th. I've been thinking anywhere from 7-9 is reasonable, so let's pick the middle. Either get New York or Pens in the first round again, but that's how she goes.
Should have gone with 7th, Dave.
So, standings are as follows:
Amelia - 5.5
Mark - 5
Adnan - 4.5
Darren - 4.5
Dave - 4.5
The Bobster - 4
Ryan - 3
Peter - 2.5
Varada - 2.5
But wait! There's a bonus frenzy round! Could it make a difference?
Bonus Frenzy round: What will be the biggest surprise this year?
The biggest surprise will be Sergei Gonchar scoring around 30 points, which is a 50 point season in an 82 game schedule.
Gonchar scored 27 points, which is close to, but not around 30 points. No points!
Craig Anderson does not finish the year as the starter, and is not the starter in the playoffs.
Well, this was really, really wrong.
Bryan Murray retires a year early, stays on as an adviser, and Tim Murray takes over.
This might be a year early, so no points.
This guy's made me look bad in predictions before, but I don't care: Peter Regin's spontaneous resurgence as a serious contender for top-six minutes on the Ottawa Senators roster. A move to the wing will be much easier on his shoulders (no face-offs), and although he'll start on the third line, I'd wager that he should be able to climb up the depth chart. His responsible play should also endear him to the Paulrus, which should lead to lots of short-handed time.
Peters gotta stick together, I guess. Or our Peter has Stockholm Syndrome.
Despite losing a top scorer and top defender to the big club, Binghamton win their second Calder Cup in three years. Robin Lehner finishes the playoffs with eight shutouts, twelve penalty minutes, and a second MVP title, as the B-Sens will register 1 shot for every 2.4 taken by their opponents.
Bobby knows nothing about nothing.
Peter Regin's season-ending injury will not be shoulder-related.
Turns out that Peter Regin's season-ending injury was only a result of talent, so this might have been funny, but it's not correct.
The Sens announce in the spring they'll change uniforms for 2013-14 and will be keeping the beautiful black heritage jerseys, the original white jerseys, and an improved red jersey design. The league, overcome by the brilliance of the move, announces white jerseys will be worn at home the following year.
I think the biggest surprise will be not making the playoffs, to be honest. I think a lot of pundits are picking the Sens to finish in the Top 8, and fans will be surprised and disappointed if it doesn't happen. Other than that, I'm not sure there will be too many surprises.
Someone buy Darren a puppy or something.
That with all the talk of Ben Bishop and Robin Lehner going into camp, Craig Anderson has top of the league type stats. (seriously, my fantasy team depends on it)
Anderson not only had top of the league stats, but he finished on top of the league. By rule, a correct answer in the Bonus Frenzy Rule doubles your score, meaning the final standings are:
Dave - 9
Amelia - 5.5
Mark - 5
Adnan - 4.5
Darren - 4.5
Dave - 4.5
The Bobster - 4
Ryan - 3
Peter - 2.5
Varada - 2.5
The incomparable Dave Young has won this year's prediction panel. Congratulations, jerk. But Dave's title defense starts immediately, because tomorrow we begin this season's prediction panel. What does this season have in store? Find out soon!